2/17/2016

1925 Lyon & Healy "Camp Uke" Soprano Uke




I've worked on a lot of soprano Camp Ukes and they're inevitably popular with uke folks that come through the shop. They have a different feel and sound -- they're like handling a lightweight banjo-uke in body shape, have a drier/more percussive tone, and look absolutely great. Most of them are made of monkeypod wood (as is this one) which makes them interesting as well.

This one has an 8000s serial number on the neck block which corresponds to a 1925 build. Work included resetting the neck and addition of an extra screw for reinforcement (this is easy as the neck is screwed to the body in the first place), a fret level/dress, some seam repairs, and cleats/repairs to three tiny hairline cracks on the top (the monkeypod wood often gets hairlines). Still -- this is one of the cleanest Camp Ukes I've had in. It plays spot-on at 1/16" at the 12th fret and is strung with fluorocarbon strings.



Ebony nut...


...and cool mahogany "smile" bridge. It's full-height as adjusting the neck angle let me dial-in the action without needing to adjust it.


The original brass frets are in good order and received a very light level/dress. One advantage of this body shape is that there's so much fret access.



The back of this uke is turned out of a thick piece of monkeypod like a banjo resonator. Isn't the grain lovely on it?


These L&H-patent friction pegs work just as well now as when they were made.





The top edge has black binding.




I replace the original bolt with drywall-style screws and then also add a bit of glue when reinstalling the neck. This is a surer fit than the original one-screw neck attachment (which yields a loose, twisted-over neck as the instrument ages).

3 comments:

Liesbeth en Karl said...

I've got it's twin!

Wendy Flores said...

I have one that looks just like this. How do I know how old it is? Is there a serial number somewhere?

Jake Wildwood said...

Serial numbers are usually on the back of he headstock, top of the headstock, or at the neckblock inside the soundhole. They have to be corroborated by the Washburn book put-out by CenterStream.